SteveRedgraveRowing is a great way to get fit as well as enjoying the beauty of your local river or lake.

It’s a fantastic sport for developing core, leg and arm strength plus all the cardiovascular benefits. It is a sport that utilises our body’s levers: arms, legs and back – to push the oars through the water.

The rowing stroke is a repeated continuous cycle, from a position with the legs flexed, elbows straight to a fully extended knee position and elbow flexion with the oar handle drawn into the body.

A strong back is a vital component to increase power and avoid injury. Poor technique is common and can lead to injuries.

To you rowers out there…you should always be looking to improve the way you row to reduce your risk of injury. Undertaking core and strength training will provide you with the muscular power to cope with the demands of the sport.


Common rowing injuries

  • Lower back pain – most common injury due to constant bending back and forth.
  • Upper back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Wrist tendinopathies – from oar rotations
  • Rib fractures – tends to be in elite athletes who are over training.

To help prevent injuries:

  • Maintain a good level of general health and fitness.
  • Warm up thoroughly.
  • Ensure you are stretching as part of your cool down routine.
  • See a physiotherapist for assessment of your muscle strength, length and biomechanics to identify any weaknesses.

Injury advice:

  • Stop immediately if an injury occurs to help prevent further damage.
  • Seek treatment promptly from a physiotherapist.
  • Early management results in less time away from rowing.
  • Apply rest, ice, compression, and elevation until you seek treatment (for soft tissue injuries).
  • Do not resume activity until you have completely recovered from injury and have been advised it is safe by your physiotherapist.
  • Watch your technique and address any errors.

Handy tips for training…

  1. For cardio vascular fitness – try running, rowing, cycling
  1. For strength and endurance- try lifting some weights both fixed and free – make sure all major muscle groups of your legs, bottom, arms, back and shoulders are considered.
  2. Make sure your core stability is good – maybe try Pilates. This is essential to maintain your good posture and technique and keep the boat well balanced.

>>>> Try these tips to help improve your performance and limit potential problems, a varied training programme is important.

Add all these components to your training programme together with skill and practice and who knows what you might achieve.

Contact us here at Black Pear Physiotherapy on 01905 611 010, visit our website for more tips or why not book an appointment to help you row your way to success!



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